HOW JEWISH IS… BETTY SUAREZ?
The series in which we investigate the Semitic qualities (or otherwise) of someone in the news this week
She is the Latino girl who works as a magazine assistant at fictional publication Mode, but Betty Suarez, aka Ugly Betty from the hit C4 comedy show, has all the hallmarks of the young Jewish graduate. There is dogged ambition — only exaggerated by the derision directed at her from all sides — combined with a quick wit, charm and resourcefulness, all familiar Jewish traits. And they make up for her lack of conventional good looks. Isn’t this the way we have learned to get ahead?
Betty’s thick black hair, which only works in two styles — up or down — has thousands of Semitic heads nodding with recognition each week. Her nerdy accessories — tacky specs, train-track braces, ID necklace and a woeful wardrobe — display the classic geeky-Jew look made famous by Woody Allen and those high-school comedies during the ’80s. She says: “Your family is a great source of inspiration and support. They love to hear about your hopes and dreams and help you shoot to the top,” an idea we, as Jews, hold by. Betty is played by America Ferrera, 23, who grew up among the tiny Honduran Jewish community.
Betty Suarez is a proud Colombian who was treasurer of the Latina Women’s League at college. She is against plastic surgery and botox at all costs, despite the fact that many Jewish women of a certain age swear by them. She lives in a run-down house in Queen’s. Her show is screened on Friday nights. It does not bode well.
Despite the long dark hair, the nerdy image and the Jewish knowledge of the actress who plays her, the fact that she is a Colombian from Queen’s means Betty fall just shy of the mark. 36%